Until recently, my wife and I watched rented movies on an ancient DVD player. Yes, we actually went to Blockbuster (when it still existed), picked out a movie and hoped to God our dinosaur of a DVD player would work. It usually didn’t, though. It didn’t recognize BluRay and buffered more than Youtube on dial-up. It was simply no way to live.
So we finally traded in our old unit for a newer, fancier version. And guess what? We’re better people because of it. The new player connects to our Wi-Fi and allows us to stream Pandora and, most importantly, Netflix. No longer does an hour-long episode of Mad Men take us an hour and twenty minutes to watch. No longer do we need to drive to the movie rental store. No longer do we have to feel compelled to rent a movie we know we’ll hate just because we’re already there. But I digress. We love technology and, quite frankly, it finally loves us back.
So when we heard the news that Netflix decided to jack up its prices by 60% for the same services we were previously getting for around ten bucks a month, we were incensed. “Let’s cancel!” I screamed. “How dare they?” she muttered. It took us a little longer than it should to come to our senses, but we did. Convenience (streaming) wins, especially with hectic work schedules and a new baby. Really, when are we really going to go to a movie or time travel to the stone age to actually rent a movie? So we’re sticking with Netflix. For now. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t consider another service, were another option to present itself.
Enter Dish Network. They spent a few hundred million buying Blockbuster and will spend a few billion more buying up a bunch of spectrum. As everyone knows, CALinnovates is a big proponent of expanded access to spectrum to keep the consumer experience moving in the right direction. Our members, including app developers and mobile gaming companies, want (need) more to continue to serve their customers’ needs in an ever-demanding arena.
The Dish/Blockbuster marriage is an innovative and interesting strategy in a changing marketplace. Given the economic woes we are facing here in California and nationwide, fusing these two companies together may be a good call. We’ll make sure the CALinnovates team monitors its success moving forward. Now, back to Mad Men….